Sara came to live with us in December, 2006. After our Kasey went to the Bridge in July, we felt it was time for another dog to join our pack. Actually, Hermine felt that way; Herb would have been content to just have one dog, Mollie. The plan was to get a young male, probably about 2 years old, but after bringing the perfect dog into the house, I (Hermine) just could not bond with him because he wasn’t Kasey. Feelers were put out to all the rescue groups, but no one had what we were looking for. Just by chance I asked a breeder acquaintance if she knew of anyone who was looking to place a young male. She suggested we come to meet her Sara.
Sara was exactly the opposite of what I wanted – she was a 5½ year old female, but I decided to take a chance and meet her. Sara was supposed to be a “show dog” but because she was so timid, her show career was quickly ended. Instead she had 2 beautiful litters and was then spayed. Her life in a breeder’s home was not ideal. She spent most of her time in the kennel, but was rotated into the house at times. Sara was content with that arrangement since new things terrified her anyway. As long as she had her littermate Peanut around, she was fine. Sara did not like strangers, but for some reason she liked me! I saw a dog that needed me, and I needed a needy dog, so although I wasn’t sure I could ever love her, Sara came home to live with us.
Mollie loved Sara immediately, and to Sara, Mollie was a replacement for her sister Peanut. From the minute they met they became BFFs. It actually took me 9 months to turn Sara into a dog. She was terrified of everything – a leaf blowing in the wind, garbage pails, men in baseball caps, shadows, and the list could go on and on. Walking her down the street was a challenge – if she saw something that frightened her, she would try to climb into my arms. She felt better when she was with Mollie, so I always walked them together. Besides her fears, Sara was not reliably housebroken. I refused to crate her because of her history, so housebreaking was a challenge, but she learned. And she didn’t know how to learn; she didn’t realize commands required a response on her part. The day she figured this out you could see the joy in her eyes.
Of course, you probably know by now that I had fallen head over heels in love with her. Watching her dive was incredible; she wasn’t a graceful swimmer like Mollie but when she dove off the side of the pool she looked like a picture in a book. When she trotted, she looked like she was floating. Sara wasn’t much of a retriever; I always said she was probably part pointer because when you threw a ball, she would run to it and show you where it was. She loved to roll over on her back in the grass, and kick her feet in the air. She had the sweetest temperament. I never saw her growl or even curl her lip and anyone or anything, not even her granddaughter Tootsie who tried to mount her. She was so gentle when she took a treat from your fingers that you didn’t even realize she had teeth. And she loved her food!!!!
As time when on, Sara and Mollie both aged, but Mollie more so than Sara, so Sara felt responsible for her and always looked after her. When they were out for a walk Sara was always looking back, and never went more than a few steps ahead of Mollie. As Mollie’s arthritis worsened, I worried what would happen to Sara when Mollie went to the Bridge. They were so bonded.
In the early fall, Sara started to act “weird”. She hid most of the day, only coming out for meals and walks, and she stopped sleeping in my bed. I attributed it to old age, but decided a vet visit couldn’t hurt. Surprisingly, her blood report showed so many things wrong; less than 6 months earlier all was perfect. We followed up with an ultra-sound and Sara was diagnosed with cancer. Dr. Butzer gave her about 2 weeks to live. I no longer had to worry about them separating. Sara decided to stop eating and so they made the journey to the Bridge together. I can picture them running, so in tune with each other that they look like one dog.
Before she left me, Sara made sure I was taken care of. Her beautiful granddaughter is her legacy. They are as different as night and day but when I look at Tootsie’s nose leather, I see Sara. It is the only trait they shared. Rest in peace Sara, my champion (of the sofa).